a prayer for 3 p.m.

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Lord?

Today done flat wore me out. My hair is going every which direction and my words aren’t good anymore and every response I’m making is clipped with frustration. Because where am I in the midst of this? Of the powdered sugar caked on the counter. Of the popcorn covering the kitchen floor. Of the papers strewn about the dining room. Of the Zaxby’s drink from two days ago that’s still sitting on that table in the den. (Thank you for Zaxby’s, Lord. You know I love it.) Of deadlines unmet and receipts unreconciled. I don’t even know if I have clean underwear for tomorrow. And there’s that book, magazine, whatever that I’ve been wanting to read for days. I think it has jelly on the cover.

I’m thirsty, ever so thirsty, for refreshing. And this stony heart, the one that I was born with? It keeps telling me that I’ll quench my thirst reading just a few blogs or in five minutes checking my email or two minutes more on facebook. If I can just sit down.

But there’s only One who ever broke stony rocks and made water come spilling and trickling out. And that is You. If it’s not You then I’ll just be parched.

And so I will wash the powdered sugar off of the counter because it’s work you’ve given me to do. And I will answer that 7 plus 7 is 14 even though I do NOT want to. I will do that paperwork that has been waiting for three weeks. I’ll even do the laundry.

And I will look for you. In every single thing I do, I’ll look for you. And I’ll do it because you gave it to me not because I have to be good. If this is the work you’ve given me then You are in it. And I’ll believe that even though it is work, because You are in it then even this stuff of my hands can be refreshing. If I don’t give in, then you’ve promised I’ll reap. I’ll reap and I’m believing that it will be margin. It will be refreshing gifts from You to my heart, things that give me life.

Amen and Amen.

Whatever your 3 pm looks like, maybe you have a verse or encouraging truth that you turn to. Would you share? I’d love it if we lifted each other up.

small joy: sabbath

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I did something I haven’t done in a good long while yesterday. I took an honest to goodness sabbath day. We worshipped with our church family and then I came home and stayed in this one spot for a good remainder of the day. I read books and magazines. I had hand drawn pictures delivered to me. I also got shot with nerf guns and had to help break up a few wrestling matches gone wrong. That, my friends, is what we call pure T wrastling. But we were all here and we just stayed here.

More than ever, I am realizing that priorities don’t simply happen. I have to make space for them. Except sometimes I don’t and them I’m totally perplexed by the fact that I’m caught up in doing a whole lot of stuff that isn’t life giving.

I am also convinced that our four year old LITERALLY (Chris Traeger) lays himself flat in the dirt and then proceeds to roll and frolic in it. The other day he came in and there was dirt swirling off of him. It’s a sight, to be sure.

I’ve also been writing more thanks to a dear friend and every other Tuesday morning with her. We read. We write. We share. Some of it trails over here but some of it I’m holding on to. I’ve been a bit unsure about what this space is supposed to look like. Yes, still. But last week I took some time to ponder: why do I keep coming back to this place instead of keeping it all close? It helped to think intentionally.

Also! I always dread Monday when it’s the late afternoon on Sunday and the best light is almost filtered out. It’s the early mornings and the other non-weekendy things. But! Something happens on Monday mornings. I don’t know but that I’m really loving them for their fresh starts and new goals and hopeful breezes.

on healing cuts

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My pocket perfect moments come after a long day. I feel the tired in every bone.

And as I gather up random papers scattered throughout our house, I find it. A piece of my precious paper that she requested to perform an experiment with a jar of water and a tiny flashlight. Looking to create rainbows.

A chart labeled: “Yes, Renbo” and “No, Renbo.” Her scratchy hash marks making my mind run ahead. She had scrambled outside and in. Sought rooms filled with light and rooms shaded from the clear, afternoon sun.

She sat down across from me filled with the joy of having run after her creativity, making something she loves. Her eyebrows lifted to the tippy top of her face and her toothless grin crept wide. Her deep brown eyes basins full of stories over time, space, feelings.

She always asks to look for the rainbow after a storm. Always.

I never even think to.

This moment? My rainbow.

And later as I fold her fancy new basketball shorts, the deep and bright purple ones, I wonder at something so small. That something so small could cut so deep.

It’s a healing cut and this rainbow of a girl is teaching me to believe in my Promise Keeper and His grace toward me.

Our friend, Lynn, took this beautiful picture of our girl. Thank you, Lynn!

when the answer is in the pain

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This very minute? In my heart? I was thinking of my whys.

And an answer tip-toed over my brain. Something I’d heard in Bible study yesterday.

Because He is enough and He knows better.

I look around and I see so many people walking beside me under the burden of why.

Why the loss, Lord?

Why the pain, Lord?

Why the infirmity, Lord?

Why the poverty, Lord?

Why the no, Lord?

When You could split open the sky and make everything ok. Why?

Better. It’s the most painful answer I’ve ever had to stand under.

It doesn’t feel better to walk through pain and know that He could have stopped it. It doesn’t feel better to know that He saw the pain coming a long way off and in His love He watched it walk right up and make itself known to my heart, ripping and tearing and stomping it’s way through my life.

It doesn’t feel enough when the very, absolute thing you wanted most in the world is ripped from you. It doesn’t feel enough when you don’t even know how next will come or when. It doesn’t feel enough when you just plain don’t know how you’ll get what you need.

But it doesn’t change anything. He is enough and He knows better.

And that is why I sit down in my favorite chair on a bright spring morning. I listen to the birds chirping and I surrender my why to Him.

Because even though He is enough and He is better smarts like the dickens, it also heals.

And in just enough time, I might not know why but I’ll know Him more: enough and better.

You feel this? Share if you’d like.

spring tidbits

Hi. It is Spring Break here. This morning we picked strawberries. Because it is basically summer. I have a sink full of them and plans to make a good bit of this salad dressing because my children will even eat raw spinach under it.

Here’s how I view Spring Break: Oh, goody! No rushing in the morning! We. Don’t. Have. To. Go. Anywhere! At all.

Here’s how my kidlets view Spring Break: What are we going to do next? Hmmm?

Unfortunately they do not buy into my homebody philosophy. And so I will try to provide a few fun things to do and then we will scurry home for afternoons of rest. Our oldest, especially, would flit from one thing to the next if I didn’t take up the banner of guarding our time. And I would be perfectly content to not leave home for an embarassingly long time if he didn’t speak the love language of people all the time.

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I have lowly goals for this week. I would like to finish painting my kitchen chairs yellow, a project I started last summer. I think?

Also. I would like to catch up on my ironing. I don’t know why. Somehow I feel like I have accomplished something when everything is ironed. Of course, I rarely test this theory.

When it comes to housekeeping, I am the weakest link. For two weeks, I was a gold star cleaning lady when it came to our house. But, you know what comes before the fall. Last week? My house liked to say she was a hot mess. On Saturday, I got a bright idea: family cleaning morning! We picked out a movie on Redbox. And then the idea was to clean like crazy until we were all done at which time we would watch our treasured up movie. In my mind, it was going to be fabulous. It was something less. But we did it.

And! We finished the desk. Here it was fresh off the curb:

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And here it is after some paint and a new top. My dad had the plywood, trim and stain already and I had the paint. I believe the total investment came to $1.00.

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I am not even lying when I tell you that we lived with the table just like that, right across our dining room and major walkway in our house, for at least two days.

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